This garden is practically overflowing with native plants and ornamental grasses. Thus, a smooth travertine walkway winds through the outdoor space and ensures that guests can admire the flora without disturbing it.
Ornamental peppers are popular holiday plants with colorful, decorative fruits. Give your plant a cool spot that gets lots of bright light, and water as needed to keep the soil from drying out. Some ornamental peppers have been treated with chemicals, and others just aren't good for eating, so enjoy the fruits only as ornamentals. Don't consume them or let children or pets come in contact with them. Annual ornamental peppers can stay in their pots or be transplanted into the garden after all danger of frost has passed. They'll grow until the first hard frost. This variety is 'NuMex Easter.'
No other plant can add movement and catch light like ornamental grasses. They can soften, yet enhance masonry elements with their airy form and uniquely capture and filter the sun's rays. Tip: Be sure to place them where they can catch the light, which will shine through their foliage and flower heads, making them glow and shimmer in the breezes.
If you have an area where turf is thin or just won’t grow, swap it for some easy-care ornamental grasses and sedges. These plants bring texture and year-long interest to any yard, and their care routine is beyond simple. An annual trim keeps most grasses in check, while sedges need very little annual grooming. A quick brush in early to mid-spring with gloved hands is usually enough to pull out dead stems and trigger new growth.
Grown world-wide as a food or forage crop, millet bears a slight resemblance to corn in terms of leaves. Seedheads are more like bottle brushes or cattails covered in small, round seeds, which birds find irresistible. Ornamental millet (Pennisetum glaucum) keeps these characteristics, but offers striking leaf color. ‘Purple Majesty’ grows 4 to 5 feet tall and up to 3 feet wide with deep, dark purple leaves. ‘Baron’ grows up to 3 feet tall and wide with thinner leaves that are slightly darker than ‘Purple Majesty.’ ‘Jester’ also grows to 3 feet tall and wide with leaves in a mix of hues: burgundy, green and chartreuse. Use ornamental millet in planting beds or containers. This is a warm-season grass that’s grown as an annual in all zones.
Thick, decorative grass creates a lush plant line leading to the front door of this home. Sunlight highlights the vivid natural color of the healthy, spacious yard. White columns support the covered front porch and a textured neutral siding fits beautifully with the rich plant surroundings.
A spreading-type pansy formula mix provides a colorful edging for planting beds. Pair it with a leatherleaf sedge for a season-long show that keeps going strong even after cold temps arrive. For pansies in beds, fertilize at planting time with water-soluble plant food to give plants a solid start. In warmer zones, avoid giving pansies a high-nitrogen fertilizer during September to avoid causing plants to stretch.
With ornamental grasses and aloe plants on either side of the path, the owners always have something lovely to admire on their strolls through the garden.
Credits: Architecture: John Corry; Landscape Contractor: Steven Z. Volski + Associates